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Friday, November 26, 2010

Not Enough Space?

Having an office away from the house is ideal, but for us, working from home is realistic. However, some of us don't have much space and often, our work is spread throughout house and when that one really important paper or order or interview [or insert your own misplaced important information here] comes up missing, we realize: our work needs its own space.

For me to simply say use a spare closet is silly. Who has a "spare" closet?  I didn't when I had seven kids and an extra mother at home and I do not now. In fact, I'll be so bold to say, I doubt I'll ever have a spare closet because somehow, someway, I will fill it up to the brim and force the door to close. Then I'll pray no one dares open it.

There are ways around it.  You can always pare down to basics, empty a closet, set up a TV tray or book shelf, and have instant storage for your products, a place to file paperwork, perhaps, even a mini desk (if you still use desktop computers, it's possible to get that in there, as well, but probably it's elsewhere... one of the pitfalls).

Set up a simple card table in the corner of a room. Some of us have available corners, others do not.  Find a place, any place.  You can have a chair to work, use half of the table for items you need daily (pens, stapler, paper) and the other half as your workspace.  Under the table, away from your feet, store your files. You may need to keep products elsewhere, if your business requires products on hand.

Let me say that if you have so many products, there simply is no room at all, it's possible your place of business is not the problem, providing your intentions are to be at home working. It may be that your home business is a bit unrealistic.  Some businesses are NOT meant to do from home (and that's okay).

Another wonderful item is a simple TALL bookcase. Utilize the height on the top of the walls, by building higher rather than wider.  If you have bigger items, put them on the bottom so that their sticking out won't look so bad, if that's what you are worried about (I'd rather you worry about whether someone is going to trip over it or bump into it).  Use trays to group things you use together. It's easy to take the tray down, work at the kitchen table, and put it back. Nice, easy, quick.  You can use open files (no lids, as nice as they look, they will be a hassle in the long run) or use in/out boxes.  How you fill it is unique and a no brainer, these are merely suggestions.

One thing I cannot stress enough: be willing to change and adapt as needed.

If keeping your pencils and pens separate seemed like a great idea and looked great but isn't working; change it. Change it until it works for you-if it doesn't work for you, it works against you.

Our kitchen is always a work in progress. When we moved (we've moved three times in less than a year's time), I requested the cupboard and shelf plans in advance and pre-placed everything.  It looked good and it was reasonable.  Until we used the cookie supplies, all these months later and we still did not have a clue how difficult it would be to get out and put away (for the kids).  I thought of alternatives and found nothing better, which made me think another way. What would work better in the place of the cookie utensils?  Nothing.  Next, I asked myself, "Self, how often do you use these cookie things?"

"Use" turns out to be the key.  We seldom use these items. Knowing that nothing fit in their place better than they did, and that we rarely use them, why not keep them where they are and have a bit of discomfort (for lack of a better word) once or twice a year?

Using the kitchen again, our spices are in a cupboard near the stove, where we cook (never over it).  It stands to reason the sugars and flours would be there, as well.  But I rarely use cinnamon, sugar, flour, sprinkles, etc. while I cook and the cupboard doesn't hold it all anyway. I tried moving it to the larger cupboard by the side of the sink.  When anyone cooked, the spices would invariably be left near the stove, rather than being put away.  I asked why and knew it was because as easy as it is, too many steps to do such a small thing was, well, too many, which led to too many more, now that we'd have to go back later, put them all away, and then some.

Who says all the spices have to be together?  We grabbed all the spices we cook with and put them near the stove. The others, mainly used in baking (where you put everything together outside the oven, mix, or what-have-you), were stored in the larger one by the sink. We call that the baking cupboard. We've included pancake mix, flaxseed, baking mixes, etc., and it works. For us. Whatever works for you, is a blessing.

The point is, create your space the best you can. When it works, it works and do not mess with it. When it does not work, don't fight it and force yourself to make it work, change it until you get it right.

Use the space you do have and use it wisely. For my home businesses, I use the area behind the door, and the wall near the bathroom.  For my writing, I use my table and the space below it holds my files. It's all neat, organized, and usable.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


I'm grateful I do not need Thanksgiving to be thankful.  Each day, I am surrounded by friends and family who love me and treat me well. Because of this, it's easy for me to pass it on.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Stop working for a moment and enjoy your presence.

Later, I'll tell you how I wrote a screenplay in two weeks and sold over $500 worth of products in 24 hours. Now go!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Getting Better at Last, so Why Does it Hurt?

Tonight I want to let you know I'm doing better and by next week, I'll be back to my old tricks.  But tomorrow marks the end of a level I was trying to attain in my new home business, At Home America.  From bed, I literally created ads and distributed them, booked a couple of parties, took online orders, and served a few customers I'll never get to meet.  Yet, I'm down by $350. A hundred of it is a mix up, where my hostess who first offered a party and ended up canceling, waited to order for herself when our free shipping offer came up. Which started today, BTW.

At the stroke of midnight, she made her order and paid for it.  Hours later, it never came up to me, letting me know someone ordered from me. No stress, no worries, sometimes things take a while. Turns out she ordered from the main site rather than from my site.  We're trying to work on it, but that's another order I anticipated. And somehow I'm not understanding how to close a party held for me thousands of miles away. Due to the time zone difference, she went to bed and we're hoping we'll resolved it when she's home from her job... probably after my time for this level is up.

You know, with all that's happened, I realize, how amazing it is that so many businesses run smoothly or stay in business. I mean, gosh, it can't be any easier than I have it now; the business is created, maintained, and ran by someone nearly anonymously to me.  All I have to do is bring it to the customers, offer free gifts, and fill out some paperwork.  Let's not forget there's a few nights I might go out, talk to some great women (no men so far) and enjoy some laughter outside my home, but still... how hard can it be?

So maybe this is disappointing (no maybe, it is), but it's not the end by a long shot. Imagine if Ray Kroc hadn't convinced the McDonald brothers to try his shake machine and then to sell him the business? Imagine if he gave up when his profits were below his expectations no matter how hard he tried?

Check out At Home America's fabulous 
FREE SHIPPING offer November 23 - 30th ONLY.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Past... Still the Past?

I'm not a super private person, you probably know I've had a disease, COPD, for about 12 years now.  In case you ask, I've never smoked, it's from a house we had built for us, built wrong and, we had a serious crime burst into our life. Anyway, I say that so you are not shocked that I am still sick. For everyone in the house, it's come and gone, but for me, it's still here, though today is the first day I feel like this is it, I can make future plans!

One of the things I've noticed this time around is my lack of concentration. Even a good movie can't keep me attention, which is unusual and such a bummer for me personally (when you are sick, don't you love to cuddle with blankets and a good movie to keep your mind off of the pain?).  Today, though, I've managed to read a little and that's a feat, as it's been about two or three weeks that I've been off.  A GREAT sign.

As I'm reading and subsequently writing, I'm getting back into my old mold of teaching. I used to teach classes in writing and had a writers website which did pretty good in its day.  I not only love it, but I thrived.  It just so happens that the website went up for sale and the writing was off the day we evacuated that house for serious health reasons. I never stopped because I didn't like it. I didn't stop because it wasn't working. I didn't stop because I had better things to do. I stopped for the same reason I stopped being athletic; because someone was criminally negligent in building our home and someone was criminally negligent in taking what he wanted and it led to losing everything we had and starting completely over in so many ways.

I know I have so much to do. I know I have plenty to keep me occupied. I know I love what I do now, just wish I could do more and do it better... but I kind of want to teach again. I'm having a class on business management and organization soon, for people who, like me, live on federal land and have to have certain permissions and take several precautions, and, who, like me, have a significant other leaving for a year to a very scary place.  Maybe, just maybe, I'll be back in action all the way. I may not run a marathon or do flips around everyone, but maybe I can show them how and somehow, live on through them.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hard Up!

Believe it or not, there's still sickness lurking inside our home, infecting our lives and business in every way imaginable.  For At Home America, I literally cannot hold a home party even if I forced myself (it's contagious, it seems), the only person I mentor, I've failed because I could not come to her party because of this (and now she's sick with probably the same thing, so she's in the same boat as I am), and since I cannot concentrate, I'm not writing or reading.  But check it out; I have the BEST ideas right now. Figures!

Most days, I try to make it to the game room and to my desk once a day. The game room holds the family TV and pretty much, the family!  The desk, it's just so I can say I made it to work once again, never mentioning I didn't actually work.  Though I am admitting it now.  Today, my bed's my office.

The two things I seem to be able to do are work on the website and attempt to share At Home America with friends online.  The website has been difficult since the change to Mac and the more recent switch to Dreamweaver, which makes this a bit positive. It helps that I finally broke down and purchased the Dreamweaver CS4 for Dummies book, too (if only I could concentrate and read it).

Here's my idea for next week:
Free shipping with all online orders, even to Hawaii, begins November 23. I'm going to create an event on Facebook, with pictures of MY favorite sale items people would want before Christmas, inviting them to order using the online catalog and order form and getting their shipping free. On my private page, I'll take an idea from fellow ATA, Amanda, offer our countdown snowman to 10 lucky people who are willing to part with $10 (includes shipping and tax).

I do not want to SPAM anyone or make them hate coming to my Facebook wall, but I do not want to lose the Christmas spirit sales, you know?

Teraisa's November Holiday SALE Picks:

Holiday pitcher holds a whooping 85 oz., that's a LOT of eggnog!  Use this in the dishwasher and microwave safely or use as a festive vase $6.99

Monday, November 15, 2010

Still Sick; I Reflect...

Before I even knew I was going into direct sales, I attended a few home parties for people I recently met (we moved into our home-thousands of miles from our last home-two months ago) and always, I found something I could purchase for myself or a gift, and often, if you search hard enough, you can even find something very affordable. If shipping's the problem (maybe it cost more than the item), I let the hostess know I want to place an order but I cannot justify the shipping. She can either add it to her own order or another guest who lives nearby.  I simply write them a check or hand over cash. I always include an extra dollar or two for their help. Why not?

Why is it that people today aren't willing to help their own? Why is it that people are so quick to say, "Me, me, me!"  Do you know, not that I was allowed to assume they would, but I sure hoped... ONLY ONE PERSON WHO I HELPED OUT with sales helped me out in my new business.  One.

You have to say it's like Christmas, we give gifts and pretend we only like to give, and don't mind not getting.

Before I go on, let me say this: if we truly only like to give and not receive, then why are we giving gifts in the first place? If no one likes to receive, aren't we making an awful lot of people uncomfortable? We give because we want to. We like to give. We give because it's expected and we have also taught others to expect it (many of us).  We like the community. We. Also. Love. To. Receive. Yes! I said it!

We like to receive. Thou doth protest too much!  We do. I love knowing someone is thinking about me when I'm not around (feel better now that I changed it from "WE" to "I" and "ME?")!

I like that someone cares so much about me, they know I love the 49er's and all the colors that go with them. I love that they know I'm not into twangy country music, but I love 80's metal.  I love that someone cares enough to know I am not in love with chocolate, but I like sunflower seeds (stocking stuffers).  One year, I got a DVD most people would say to themselves,  "What was the giver thinking; it's her 40th birthday?!?!" But actually, this person knows I LOVE the Lizzie McGuire Movie!  And you know what? I like to receive.

And so do other people, otherwise, giving becomes selfish and ends up being all about YOU.

So here I am, surrounded by the quite-a-few-home-parties I attended and also the only people I know... can't they help out a little?  Can't they say, hey, I can't afford this right now (after all, I know how much they earn, we earn the same thing!), but is there anything I can do in another way?

Can't they help out a little?  I want them to succeed, and they know it by my actions (I am helping FREE people FREE learn FREE how FREE to manage FREE businesses FREE and taxes NOT SO FREE! when on a Hawaiian military installation - and yes, it matters).

Here are ways you can help - purchase something affordable, aren't you buying Christmas gifts anyway?  Let the hostess know you can't help this time, you don't even have to give a reason, and maybe take the catalog you know you are taking anyway, which costs money, and share it with someone who can afford it.  Maybe you heard someone say they need something that the party person can supply- for instance, I told everyone who may have stood a few feet from me that I need wall hangings -you can show them the catalog or even suggest they host a party in order to get it free; don't forget to tell them you'll attend.

There is so much you can do to help. I'm not saying go to every party you are invited to, I'm not saying purchase from every party or everyone will hate you. I'm saying, hey, I just started this new business AFTER I HELPED YOU OUT, can you just give me a REAL MINUTE OF YOUR TIME?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Complete Downer

Tomorrow my kids get to see Harry Potter at an advanced screening. Though I'm not at all a HP fan, I was going because they are older and there's not a lot they don't mind me doing with them.

When I found out the very first At Home America Specialist to join under me was having her party the same day, I cancelled the movie even though I normally will not cancel on my kids for most. But this was her first party and there's no one here in Hawaii having a party we can see. One that we can use to train by.

But the joke's on me, and the sadness is for AH (the specialist) and probably not so much on my kids, because I have bronchitis and it's hurting pretty bad, besides being contagious.  I can't even concentrate on a book.  Murphy's Law?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Goals and Goal Management

Being sick reminds me to be grateful for my calendar.  Without a calendar, I'd be stressed each day, when sick, wondering if I was going to sabotage my businesses and family life because I'm down.  Because I use the calendar, instead, I'm able to lay down and not deal with anything except getting better (not that my head will rest!), because I know which events and goals can be put on hold.  Which ones I can complete from bed with a mushy mind, and which ones I'll have to focus and deal with at some point in time.

I put everything down on paper. Everything I do was once a future goal.  Books I want or need to read, time spent learning how to make cascading style sheets, school holidays, bills, etc. There is nothing off limits (though I've grown up a bit and realize setting a goal to check the real mailbox and crossing it off each day doesn't really give me the encouragement I seek).

My goal for today is read a friend's screenplay. I can do that, easily.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Getting Better All. The. Time. Or Not.

Three days now, sick, severe head and throat pain. I'm sure it will be over soon. I really need it to be over soon.  And the stalking coming back to haunt us yesterday did not help whatsoever. I feel horrible for our girls, it's far worse for them.

I'm in bed with the thought that some rest and tomorrow I'll be just dandy!

Today, while browsing IMDb, where I love to submit clever movie quotes (not the boring ones published for publishing sake), I changed my profile, then jammed to MilSpouse and did the same. I realize, what I am now is a Make Your Temporary House a Home Specialist.  Yes. That's me.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


You'd think thousands of miles away from your stalker would be enough. We were so wrong.


It's hard to sleep when you have ideas swirling through your head.  My latest is that I'm going to write up a presentation for the At Home America friends who have never hosted a party. I'm going to write up exactly what you can do before, during, and after a party and include etiquette and conversation help.  Each time I am at a party, my own, anyone else's, and any other company, I'll read it again and tweak it until it works perfectly in general.

Yah, I'll do that.  And I'll finish my book and screenplay tomorrow, right? I'm tired, I'm exhausted, I'm trying to help someone who isn't helping herself (that's always a no-no!), and I am pretty sure I'm in a lot of pain - strep throat?  I love my cousins, they came all the way from the Mainland to bring me something that resembles strep throat. Ah, the memories!

Let's see if I actually get around to doing this.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mistakes: FIXED!

Thanks to the At Home America Pro Team, my ridiculous but potentially serious mistake is fixed.  I put in my very first order from the Grand Opening I put on at our community center.  When I ordered, I did not RECHECK the address, I simply submitted as is. Instead of our products being shipped to my house, they were set to ship to our community center!

It's expensive enough to ship to Hawaii, can you imagine me having to reship? Pay for reshipping?  And the time waiting?  CRAZY and not going to happen thanks to the Pro Team.

My upline showed me how to handle it, advised me to do it fast and viola!, it's taken care of.  It's also a mistake I now know how to avoid and how to teach others to avoid as well.

Busy, Busy, Busy

This week has been busier than usual. We have family in town and that's actually quite rare, as we live in Hawaii on a military installation.  Of course the best thing about my jobs are that they are extremely adaptable. Family? No problem; schedule around them or take that time off.

For the home parties, of At Home America, you can book two additional parties before and after their visit. This is ideal, you won't be rushed to be home in order to prepare and you won't feel guilty or continually apologize for your absence or abruptness.

Writing - a no brainer. Write in the morning, write in the car, write before bed, write in the bathroom.  All you need is a pencil and a napkin or a receipt and you can write anywhere.

Everything else I do is 24/7 and no need to push back a thing.

Of course, Murphy's Law comes into action. I am grateful to receive two leads, a catalog party, and an order in the past 24 hours and the best story idea ever within the past 24 hours, AKA My Break.

Tomorrow our family returns to the mainland and life returns to normal.  What's normal?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

You Gotta Love It!

My favorite part of owning a home business?  Every moment is a moment of its own.  You can be depressed or devastated easily, for many reasons, yet it takes so little to turn that frown upside down.

A lead. A sale. An offer to host a home party.  ~At Home America specialist

Someone asks. Someone listens. Someone changes.  ~Victims Advocate

A story informs. A story persuades. A story entertains.  ~Writer

A hug. A kiss. Both.  ~Mother

A thank you. A "let me do that for you."  An I love you.  ~Wife

An ear when I pray.  ~That's all God

Saturday, November 6, 2010


My jobs are easy enough (for me):

At Home America

Why is it that I feel like I'm failing at it all? And here's the kicker: I'm actually POSITIVE! I'm happy. I love life.  How can I be so sure of all this and enthusiastic, yet still... I suck.

Don't go thinking I'm having a pity party, and please do not tell me all the reasons I'm okay.  I'm not pitying myself and I am realistic. But why? All I want to know is why?

And while we're at it, why is it that everyone thinks I should be able to do everything? Why do they believe I can do anymore than they can?  Okay, that's me feeling sorry for myself-don't you feel better now?

One thing I say to complainers is to figure out a solution or admit you can come up with none, then stop complaining.  I'm done.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Home Party Business: YES!

Well, friends, live and learn!  It WAS worth it (see previous post). I ordered supplies I wanted (as opposed to needed, though I will soon) and it was really easy. My BROWSER was not working; after changing it everything worked great. Not only that, but I found out I reentered all the items, but they were actually in a place I could have clicked on, ironically (snicker, snicker) called ORDERS.

Today is my first At Home America party, it's my Grand Opening. I'll come back and let you know what's going on throughout the day and how I'm feeling.

Anyone who knows me:  yep, I'm ready to write like crazy. Why? Because today is not a writing day.  :-)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Home Party Business: Is It Worth It?

I've yet to hold the first home party. The Grand Opening.  And yet. I can't order supplies. I've wasted an hour ordering and re-ordering because after submitting the numbers, I'm told there's been "an error" and that they apologize.

Do I bother ordering again, seeing as there's no way the supplies will be here when I need them for the last party I have signed onto?

I'm sure I will.  But please, don't let me see another error message. Four in one hour is four too many.

On another note; all the other work is going well.  We checked out the laws for freelance writing on federal land and we pass!  We need nothing!  At least something's going our way.  Now, if only to write.